Twitter bars Donald Trump Jr from tweeting from his account for 12 hours after US president's eldest son shared a video showing doctors pitching malaria drug as a sure-fire way to treat coronavirus.

A video promoted by Donald Trump Jr also features pro-Trump doctors telling Americans they do not need to wear masks to prevent coronavirus.
A video promoted by Donald Trump Jr also features pro-Trump doctors telling Americans they do not need to wear masks to prevent coronavirus. (Reuters)

Twitter has temporarily halted President Donald Trump's eldest son from tweeting on its site after he shared a video riddled with unsupported claims about the coronavirus.

Because it spread misinformation about treating the coronavirus, Twitter required Donald Trump Jr to take down the video and put his account on a 12-hour timeout, a Twitter spokesman confirmed on Tuesday. 

Trump Jr's profile is still visible, but he cannot tweet, retweet, or like other posts during that time.

"It is beyond the pale for Twitter to silence someone for sharing the views of medical professionals who happen to dissent with their anti-hydroxychloroquine narrative," said Andy Surabian, a spokesman for the president's son, after sharing a screenshot that said Twitter had temporarily limited @DonaldJTrumpJr's ability to tweet, retweet or like the content.

"We did not suspend the account. The screenshot shared directly says that Twitter required the Tweet to be deleted because it violated our rules and that we would limit some account functionality for 12 hours," a Twitter spokesman told Reuters news agency.

READ MORE: Malaria drug didn't help virus patients, big UK study finds

Video promoted anti-malaria drug

Many Republicans reacted with outrage, filling social media with cries of "censorship" after Trump Jr’s account was put on a timeout for sharing the video, which was viewed millions of times online in a matter of hours, reaching the president himself, before Facebook, Twitter and YouTube banned it. 

These social media platforms have zero-tolerance policies on posts that peddle potentially harmful untruths about the coronavirus.

Conservative media outlets, pundits, and personalities promoted the video across Facebook and Twitter on Monday. 

It features pro-Trump doctors telling Americans they do not need to wear masks to prevent coronavirus while also pitching hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug the president has previously touted himself, as a sure-fire way to treat coronavirus.

The video directly refutes advice from Trump's own medical experts, who have urged people to slow the virus' spread by wearing masks and cautioned against using hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus. 

Trump's son shared the misleading video with his five million followers, calling it a "must watch!!!"

READ MORE: Study on safety of malaria drugs for coronavirus retracted

Versions of video still circulating

The US Food and Drug Administration recently withdrew an order that enabled hydroxychloroquine to be used as an emergency treatment for Covid-19.

Versions of the video are still circulating widely on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, racking up millions of views. 

Facebook and Twitter said they have removed several versions and are working to take down others.

YouTube also said it has removed the video from its site.

READ MORE: US scientist says he was fired after concerns over malaria drug

Source: TRTWorld and agencies